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Marching in Austin

Bob and Pink Pussy / Bob Simmons © 2017

They say there were over 3,000,000 people who marched around the world for women and against Donald Trump on Saturday January 2, 2017. This must have put Steve Bannon and his ‘conservaturds’ into a dither, especially in view of the luke-cool attendance at the Trump inauguration. Trump is a TV and TV numbers guy. Ratings matter. Behind his bluff exterior, there must be a lot of flop sweat exuding from every pore. This, his latest show is already in trouble.

The local news reports that there were an ‘estimated 40,000 souls present to march in Austin for women’s rights and to voice their disapproval of Donald J. Trump and his co-conspirators. I wanted my own estimate, so I climbed up on a parking garage to get a better view. If you couldn’t have filled Memorial stadium at UT twice over, I would be surprised. I put the count much closer to 100,000+.

But who’s counting? Oh, that’s right, the Donald and his Press Secretary Spicer. Talk about poor math skills and the eye of the beholder.

I wandered from my perch to the Capitol grounds and started snapping pictures. There were wonderful flights of fancy and imagination everywhere. Costumes! Signs! Pussy power knit caps with kitty ears. Enclosed, find a few.

Bob Simmons © 2017

And for me, I love being in a crowd with a huge imbalance of women to men. It changes the tenor of the gathering in a most pleasant way. Unlike some of the Occupy demonstrations from a couple of years ago, there was no threat from the police, nor was there evidence of the ‘black bloc’ anarchists menacing Starbucks windows etc.

Bob Simmons © 2017

It was a stroll in the sun, everyone seemed simply happy to see each other. Sadly, there was not much evidence of latino or black lives matter, though they surely were there. Maybe there were even GOP members suffering from guilt or buyer’s remorse? I did see a few nicely dressed and bejeweled Tarrytown matrons, but who can say? Maybe they have feminist slogans tattooed on their backsides?

The demographics were broad. Kids in strollers, hipsters with animal tails, grannies with wonderfully unfashionable tee shirts, and even men dressed like they were once in The Village People. Inclusive is what it felt like. It was curious that Trumpian forces were almost nowhere in evidence, unless you count the DPS troopers who, against stereotype, seemed almost benign. Plus no Neo Nazis, KKK, or drunk angry fratboys catcalling. What gives? Maybe all the Trumpeters were plumb tuckered out from trying to make their numbers look larger at the Inauguration the day before? Quelle bizarre. But somewhere, watching a TV set in anguish was Steve Bannon and maybe Eric Prince... gritting their teeth and trying to figure out a way to spin this one. It’s going to be a long and strange four years, so fasten your seat belts.

Bob Simmons © 2017

Bob Simmons © 2017

Bob Simmons © 2017

Bob Simmons © 2017

All photos and story: Bob Simmons © 2017

See the Other Stories on the March: D.C. Silver City Bay Area


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